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Can the 2012 Mets beat expectations?

Photo credit: Paul Hadsall

New York Mets manager Terry Collins delivered a message of optimism yesterday.  “We’re better than people think we are,”  Collins told reporters. “We’ve got a good team. Yeah, we’ve lost two real good players out of our lineup. We’ve lost some good pitchers. But we’ve got to move forward.”

He’s right about the need to move forward, and he’s probably right about the team being better than people think. The Las Vegas odds makers have fairly low expectations for the 2012 New York Mets. According to MetsBlog, they set the over-under line at 70.5 yesterday.

The 2009 Mets were – just – bad enough to miss the “over” side of that line with 70 wins. The 66-victory squad of 2003 would solidly land on the “under” side. Before that, you’d have to go all the way back to the dreadful 1993 team that lost 103 games to find a Mets squad that didn’t win at least 71 games in a non-strike season.

Now I’m not expecting miracles from the 2012 New York Mets, but they’re not going to be as bad as that 1993 team. And even if they are, I made it through watching those team in 1993, 2003 and 2009. There were a lot of bad days, but there were just enough good ones sprinkled in to make me believe that something good might happen or that there were better days coming. I just hope those better days get here soon this time.

Johan Santana

Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

But Collins seems a little too optimistic about one member of the 2012 Mets. Johan Santana threw his second bullpen session of the spring on Tuesday, and he’s tentatively scheduled to pitch in the Mets’ Grapefruit League opener on March 5th.

“In my mind right now, in my heart, I think he’ll be ready [for Opening Day],” the Mets skipper said. “I don’t think there’s any question.”

And it would be a positive message, both for fans and the team, if the $24 million staff ace was able to make his fourth Opening Day start for the Mets. But it’s more important to have Santana ready to pitch every fifth day than it is to have him out there for any one game.

I think it would have been a smarter move for Collins to announce that R.A. Dickey would be his Opening Day starter. Why put Santana under the added pressure?

Odds & Ends

2 thoughts on “Can the 2012 Mets beat expectations?

  1. UNDER!

    The first couple of months of the schedule is really hard and we have no depth or margin for error with our starting pitching!

    I am all about pitching and I am very concerned A) Santanna is no where ready from what they claim him to be. B) we have no plan B as far as starting pitching goes.

    Hopefully this team will get some kind of “Pitching Insurance” with the new rule that takes effect at the end of Spring training. I think you are going to see ALOT of players let go.

    As far as the schedule, we could be out of it by mid May if everything doesn’t break right for us and we get a couple of injuries.

    We have zero depth and a bad bench! that doesn’t bode well when we start to get injuries and you know we will.

    I think this is a “Basement Bertha” team and we only finish ahead of the Astros in the NL.

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    1. I will be very surprised if the Mets don’t finish in last place, though I’m still hoping that the Miami Marlins implode. But I don’t think that they will have that much trouble winning 70-75 games.

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